to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort:to lead a group on a cross-country hike.
to conduct by holding and guiding:to lead a horse by a rope.
to influence or induce; cause:Subsequent events led him to reconsider his position.
to guide in direction, course, action, opinion, etc.; bring:You can lead her around to your point of view if you are persistent.
to conduct or bring (water, wire, etc.) in a particular course.
(of a road, passage, etc.) to serve to bring (a person) to a place:The first street on the left will lead you to Andrews Place.
to take or bring:The prisoners were led into the warden's office.
to command or direct (an army or other large organization):He led the Allied forces during the war.
to go at the head of or in advance of (a procession, list, body, etc.); proceed first in:The mayor will lead the parade.
to be superior to; have the advantage over:The first baseman leads his teammates in runs batted in.
to have top position or first place in:Iowa leads the nation in corn production.
to have the directing or principal part in:The minister will now lead us in prayer. He led a peace movement.
to act as leader of (an orchestra, band, etc.); conduct.
to go through or pass (time, life, etc.):to lead a full life.
Games[Cards.]to begin a round, game, etc., with (a card or suit specified).
to aim and fire a firearm or cannon ahead of (a moving target) in order to allow for the travel of the target while the bullet or shell is reaching it.
Sport[Football.]to throw a lead pass to (an intended receiver):The quarterback led the left end.
to act as a guide; show the way:You lead and we'll follow.
to afford passage to a place:That path leads directly to the house.
to go first; be in advance:The band will lead and the troops will follow.
to result in; tend toward (usually fol. by to):The incident led to his resignation. One remark often leads to another.
to take the directing or principal part.
to take the offensive:The contender led with a right to the body.
Games[Cards.]to make the first play.
to be led or submit to being led, as a horse:A properly trained horse will lead easily.
Sport[Baseball.](of a base runner) to leave a base before the delivery of a pitch in order to reach the next base more quickly (often fol. by away).
Gameslead back, to play (a card) from a suit that one's partner led.
to take the initiative; begin.
Sport[Baseball.]to be the first player in the batting order or the first batter in an inning.
to induce to follow an unwise course of action; mislead.
to cause or encourage to believe something that is not true.
to make a beginning.
to escort a partner to begin a dance:He led her out and they began a rumba.
Idiomslead someone a chase or dance, to cause someone difficulty by forcing to do irksome or unnecessary things.
lead the way. See way (def. 35).
Idiomslead up to:
to prepare the way for.
to approach (a subject, disclosure, etc.) gradually or evasively:I could tell by her allusions that she was leading up to something.
the first or foremost place; position in advance of others:He took the lead in the race.
the extent of such an advance position:He had a lead of four lengths.
a person or thing that leads.
a suggestion or piece of information that helps to direct or guide; tip; clue:I got a lead on a new job. The phone list provided some great sales leads.
a guide or indication of a road, course, method, etc., to follow.
precedence; example; leadership:They followed the lead of the capital in their fashions.
the principal part in a play.
the person who plays it.
the act or right of playing first, as in a round.
the card, suit, etc., so played.
a short summary serving as an introduction to a news story, article, or other copy.
the main and often most important news story.
Electricityan often flexible and insulated single conductor, as a wire, used in connections between pieces of electric apparatus.
the act of taking the offensive.
Naval Termsthe direction of a rope, wire, or chain.
Naval TermsAlso called leader. any of various devices for guiding a running rope.
Nautical, Naval Terms[Naval Archit.]the distance between the center of lateral resistance and the center of effort of a sailing ship, usually expressed decimally as a fraction of the water-line length.
an open channel through a field of ice.
an auriferous deposit in an old riverbed.
the act of aiming a gun ahead of a moving target.
the distance ahead of a moving target that a gun must be aimed in order to score a direct hit.
Sport[Baseball.]an act or instance of leading.
Sport[Manège.](of a horse at a canter or gallop) the foreleg that consistently extends beyond and strikes the ground ahead of the other foreleg:The horse is cantering on the left lead.
most important; principal; leading; first:lead editorial; lead elephant.
Sport[Football.](of a forward pass) thrown ahead of the intended receiver so as to allow him to catch it while running.
Sport[Baseball.](of a base runner) nearest to scoring:They forced the lead runner at third base on an attempted sacrifice.
bef. 900; Middle English leden, Old English lǣdan (causative of līthan to go, travel); cognate with Dutch leiden, German leiten, Old Norse leitha
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged accompany, precede. See guide.
3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged persuade, convince.
10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged excel, outstrip, surpass.
34.See corresponding entry in Unabridged head, vanguard.
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged follow.
Chemistrya heavy, comparatively soft, malleable, bluish-gray metal, sometimes found in its natural state but usually combined as a sulfide, esp. in galena. Symbol: Pb; at. wt.: 207.19; at. no.: 82; sp. gr.: 11.34 at 20°C.
something made of this metal or of one of its alloys.
a plummet or mass of lead suspended by a line, as for taking soundings.
bullets collectively; shot.
Chemistryblack lead or graphite.
a small stick of graphite, as used in pencils.
PrintingAlso, leading. a thin strip of type metal or brass less than type-high, used for increasing the space between lines of type.
Buildinga grooved bar of lead or came in which sections of glass are set, as in stained-glass windows.
British Termsleads, a roof, esp. one that is shallow or flat, covered with lead.
ChemistrySee white lead.
get the lead out,[Slang.]to move or work faster; hurry up.
Nauticalheave the lead, to take a sounding with a lead.
to cover, line, weight, treat, or impregnate with lead or one of its compounds.
Printingto insert leads between the lines of.
Buildingto fix (window glass) in position with leads.
Chemistrymade of or containing lead:a lead pipe; a lead compound.
go over like a lead balloon,[Slang.]to fail to arouse interest, enthusiasm, or support.
bef. 900; Middle English lede, Old English lēad; cognate with Dutch lood, Old Frisian lād lead, German Lot plummet
3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged weight, plumb.
the act or prerogative of playing the first card in a round of cards or the card so played
the principal role in a play, film, etc, or the person playing such a role
the principal news story in a newspaper: the scandal was the lead in the papers
(as modifier): lead story
an important entry assigned to one part usually at the beginning of a movement or section
a wire, cable, or other conductor for making an electrical connection
one's habitual attacking punch
a blow made with this
a deposit of metal or ore; lode
See alsolead off, lead onEtymology: Old English lǣdan; related to līthan to travel, Old High German līdan to go
a heavy toxic bluish-white metallic element that is highly malleable: occurs principally as galena and used in alloys, accumulators, cable sheaths, paints, and as a radiation shield. Symbol: Pb; atomic no: 82; atomic wt: 207.2; valency: 2 or 4; relative density: 11.35; melting pt: 327.502°C; boiling pt: 1750°C
a lead weight suspended on a line used to take soundings of the depth of water
lead weights or shot, as used in cartridges, fishing lines, etc
a thin grooved strip of lead for holding small panes of glass or pieces of stained glass
(plural) thin sheets or strips of lead used as a roof covering
a flat or low-pitched roof covered with such sheets
a thin strip of type metal used for spacing between lines of hot-metal type
graphite or a mixture containing graphite, clay, etc, used for drawing
a thin stick of this material, esp the core of a pencil
(modifier) of, consisting of, relating to, or containing lead
to fill or treat with lead
to surround, cover, or secure with lead or leads
to space (type) by use of leads
Etymology: Old English; related to Dutch lood, German Lot